Sophie comes to Kurt to apologize, and seek advisement.
<XS> Medical Lab
Earlier this morning was an interesting day for at least some of the Xavier's residents--called out suddenly on a mission to ~save Rasa~ either from some horrible monster or hirself, the team arrived home with Rasa in tow but a little worse for wear. Although Kurt wasn't boasting the injuries some of the others on the team had accrued for himself, the elf also wasn't /conscious/ at the time of homecoming, instead doing his best fuzzy blue throw rug impression. He's been in the medlabs since, under observation to make sure he didn't pop some important gasket during the rescue operation. He spent a lot of that time asleep.
Now, at least Nightcrawler is awake. He is even sitting up in the bed he's been tucked into, sheets and blankets pulled up over his waist. It's hard to tell what he's wearing beneath them, but his top half is bare and covered with electrodes that are doing helpful things like monitoring his breathing and heartrate. How they get a good contact through his fur is anybody's guess. He has his phone in both hands and from the squint on his face, he's probably trying to read something.
For the most part the ruckus this morning happened before Sophie was even up and about, but rumors travel fast in a private school, so by now she's gotten /some/ inkling of went on - namely, that certain people were injured, among them someone she has a-- distinct interest in speaking to. She was rather fretting, a bit, through her morning classes, but now that she has a break she's headed down to the medlab with a small pile of gifts in tow.
And she's dressed up rather a bit more nicely than usual, today, as well; a blue gingham dress and light blue stockings, with a pair of black mary-janes on her feet. She's carrying a yellow gift bag and a plastic container that's rather reminiscent of the ones that Megan's cupcakes tend to come in. As she enters the medlab, she looks around a little hesitantly as she walks towards Kurt, apparently not having expected-- bare chestedness. Cue the blushing, and eyes snapping in position looking about three inches to the right of the teacher's face. "P-- Professor Wagner, is it... okay if I bother you? I kind of... need to talk to you about something. A couple things."
At the sound of someone else's voice, Kurt looks up, one thumb sweeping across his phone's surface and then curling around to click the screen off. He smiles, although there's a certain amount of distance--or maybe just tiredness--in the expression, and he brings his tail around as if to tug the sheets a little higher. They don't really have a lot further to go, being unlikely to remain levitating against the pull of gravity. "Sophie, hallo! You are not bothering me in the least, L. Frank Baum can wait as long as I ask him to. What is troubling you?"
Sophie smiles a little awkwardly, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. "Okay." She even finds one of those uncomfortable hospital chairs to pull over, and sits down in that, noticeably focusing on the things she's carrying for a moment as she gathers her thoughts. Deep breath. And-- she manages to make /eye contact/, though the next thing she says comes out at a very rapid pace. "It's just that I really really wanted to say I'm sorry because I've been being super rude and I didn't mean to it's just that I get really nervous around people sometimes and I think I hurt your feelings the other day and I didn't mean to I just--" STOP. She stares for a minute, fully aware of how incoherent that was, and she shakes her head, smacking her forehead gently with free hand.
"I'm sorry. Are you.. okay? I heard something happened this morning but nobody's really sure what."
Something grows a little warmer about Kurt's expression, although those eyes of his are as alien as they ever are. It isn't hard to make eye contact, however--he frequently tries to make eye contact, even with people who seem a bit shy about it. "Liebchen, there is no need to apologize, I understand. I am..quite used to the effect my appearance tends to have on people, it was not my intention to scare you. I think perhaps if anything /I/ should be apologizing to /you/, I should not have tried to touch you without your permission." The end of the elf's tail flicks a little, near the ground. "I am well, or getting there. I was not injured, I simply pushed myself too hard. There were not other options, but strangely my powers and body have not been listening to logic on the matter."
Brushing at her hair again, a nervous sort of fidgety gesture, Sophie shakes her head hurriedly. "N-- No, really, it's okay. I just. I guess everything's been kind of overwhelming since I got here and sometimes I have a hard time not-- /reacting/ before /thinking/, and." She bites her lip, that eye contact straying off to the side again. "I don't think you look scary, /really/. When-- last week, with the cupcakes, it really was just-- I mean you kind of came out of nowhere." There's a little laugh, there, but she does manage a smile as well. "I'm not saying it's your fault, I mean, just, I would have probably freaked out if it was anyone. And with Megan's-- thing.." She shakes her head again. "Oh! Um. Speaking of Megan, I." Bending down a little, she sets the yellow bag on the floor, so that she can hold out plastic container with both hands. "I made you some cupcakes. To say I'm sorry for making you feel bad."
Now, Kurt's dark eyebrows lift up his face, surprise taking over the faint amusement that had been dominating his expression. "Yes, I have been admonished quite a bit lately for 'creeping' on people. I am not quite certain what people thought, with a name like 'Nightcrawler'." This is probably a joke, on Kurt's part. He leans a little to the side of the bed, reaching to take the container carefully with his odd-shaped hand. "Cupcakes? Liebchen, really, it wasn't necessary at all. I do appreciate it, though. What flavour are they?"
"Well, I felt bad.." Sophie holds the container out so that she can hand it over more easily. "The cupcakes are vanilla but they have the cherry frosting. You like cherry, right?" And she blushes again, there, as if her face could get any more red than it already was. "It was actually kind of Kris's idea. I kind of-- got you another present because of last week." And now she reaches back for the bag, but keeps it in her lap for the moment. Debating whether to hand it over just yet; if nothing else, the Nightcrawler is a bit busy with pastries at the moment. "It's just.. I felt really, really bad for running away like I did, but it's just. That." And now her voice lowers to a bit of a mumble. "I just think you're a really good teacher and sometimes I feel a little intimidated, I guess, and I'm kind of afraid of sounding stupid if I let myself talk long enough."
Kurt laughs, very gently. "I /do/ like cherry, /somebody/ has seen the pint of Cherry Garcia in the fridge with my name on it." The elf doesn't open the container in the medlabs, but he does hold it up to peer inside like he might see them or they might do a trick, if he watches them long enough. "Thank you, it is very kind of you. I do not think you ever need to feel afraid of sounding stupid. You know it took me many years to learn how to pronounce things in English properly. Still I am not perfect at it, there are many words which I cannot quite say in the right manner. But this does not matter, anyone who is going to judge you for such things needs to take some time out to expand their own hearts, I believe. Is there something I can do to make you feel less intimidated? It is not my intention, I am here to help."
The container is opaque, so Kurt can at least kiiiind of see the cupcakes if he looks hard enough! But no tricks other than that, alas. Hooking her ankles together, Sophie kicks her legs back and forth for a little bit before finally answering, "I think... it's something I might have to work on myself. For now, anyway." She lowers her head a little, managing to look /away/ from barechest, and rubs the back of her neck. "But saying stuff like that just makes you sound more cool, you know." Sheepish, shy smile there. "But um-- oh! The other thing was, uh. Obviously now isn't a good time but... I think I really need to get some practice with trying to control my power. I don't really know where to start, and I guess-- apparently I've been haunting the school."
Kurt puts the container down on what is probably his knees, covered in a sheet as they are, and watches Sophie carefully as she talks. His smile widens. "I am afraid I cannot do anything about the coolness, it is a natural by-product of being Kurt Wagner, kind of like being blue and fuzzy. I know it is such a burden to everyone but I try to keep it contained." He's teasing again, his tail flicking amusedly near the floor. "Hmm. You project into the astral realm, ja? You can do it when you wish to as well as when you don't, or is it always involuntary?"
Sophie lets out a goofy little grin at that explanation, which is /not helping/ with the cool factor. So cool!! But she pulls her hair back behind her head again, not that it stays in any semblance of order when she releases it again, and lowers her hands to grip the sides of her chair. Now that the topic has moved away from anything potentially super-embarassing, she finds eye-contact easy to maintain again. The blush is even pretty much gone. "Yeah, like, I can do it when I want to but sometimes it happens when I'm asleep. That's-- how I found out, actually, is I guess my neighbors saw me in their kitchen.. and Peter and Faelan woke me up a couple weeks ago when they saw me, er... when it happens while I'm sleeping I don't know it's happening and I sort of.. act out my dreams. Kind of awkward."
The elf puts one hand to his face, rubbing at the bottom of his chin with one finger and the side of his thumb. "Well that seems very tricky to me. I will do my best to help, naturalisch, but my power is not very much like that so I am not certain how much I can help. On the other hand, when I was younger I did used to teleport quite often on reflex, especially while I was asleep." Kurt gives a sudden little laugh, eyebrows raising. "I perhaps in a way, it is a bit like wetting the bed, although far less messy. Do you ...when you wish to use your powers, or you are tempted to use them, do you find yourself feeling any kind of /urge/, like having to go to the bathroom?"
Sophie covers her mouth, stifling a small laugh. "N-- No, nothing like that. I honestly didn't know it was happening until people told me. Though." She frowns a little. "I did do it last week, after the cupcakes... I wonder if it's a stress thing." The way she's saying it, it does sound like that hadn't occurred to her before. "Like it seems like it only happens when I'm sleeping after being really, really exhausted. ... Maybe I just need to get more sleep." Another small laugh, there. "I do stay up too late sometimes."
"I was actually asleep the first time that I ever teleported." Kurt shares with Sophie, his expression thoughtful while he considers her. "I was in the caravan--this was how the circus traveled, of course, in a big convoy--and I had a terrible nightmare. I do not remember what it was, now, but I remember at the time I woke up terrified, not really understanding where I was, only that I wanted to get away from my nightmares...and so I did. I thought of being outside and away and suddenly I /was/, but also feeling very sick and nauseous. Terrified my brother, of course, it was very loud...it was some time before I could keep myself from bamfing when I was too scared, or stressed, or very tired, it is a natural reaction for my body. For you, perhaps, it is the same way, ja? The less balanced you are feeling the more likely something is to go awry."
"Aww." There's a sympathetic sound at that story, and Sophie tilts her head to one side, looking for all the world like a worried mother hen. It fades quickly enough, but it was unmistakeably there for that brief moment. "I think part of my problem might be that... I don't really use my power much, like, when I'm conscious. I should probably be practicing but I guess I kind of..." She bites the side of her lip. "...I don't... /dislike/ being a mutant but I sort of." Siiigh. "There's no way to say this without sounding terrible but-- maybe it's because of what people are like but I just feel like a bad person if I... if I let it be real." And once again she has a hard time looking Kurt in the eye, her gaze going off to the side as she blushes with shame, now, more than anything else. "I don't think mutants are bad, I don't think anyone's bad, I just... I don't know."
"You can pass." Kurt supplies for her, his expression fading mostly into sympathy. "Liebchen...let me tell you something. This is useful in many places in life, not just in dealing with your mutation. Ignoring something never makes it go away." He lifts his hands a little, as if to indicate himself. "You can look at me and see what I am, ja? Imagine, if I had tried to ignore it, to simply put my head in the sand and wait for it to go away. I would knock everything off of every shelf I was ever near with this troublesome thing--" Here his tail makes an appearance, wrapping up from where it had been hanging peacably near the floor to instead wrap loosely around the container of cupcakes, "--not to mention jaunting all over God's green earth without any idea of where I was going or why. And here you are, perhaps, thinking it will be easier for you because if your powers are not active, if you are holding your breath or standing on one leg, you don't stand out as I do. But it will not be easier, and you put yourself in so much danger by not practicing." His hands drop to join his tail around the container. "When you use your powers, your body simply stays where it was, ja? Imagine, liebchen, if this is a stress response--what if you become so stressed or scared you do it uncontrollably, while you are awake? What if you do it when your body is in danger? What happens then? Would it not be /easier/ to hide, if that is what you want, if you can /control/ it, so that you /never/ have a power accident?"
Sophie lowers her head, just nodding quietly at all of that. "I... I /know/ all that, really," she replies, softly. "And there have been a couple of times where I wondered if it could happen-- like you said, if I was awake. It's... well, like the other day, when I said I feel guilty that I've never personally been persecuted about it." She rubs the back of her neck, lifting her head up, and lets out a quiet sigh. "I feel guilty about that, I feel guilty about wanting to ignore it, I guess-- I guess it boils down to feeling guilty that... that I can pass, like you said. Like I kind of feel like I'm wasting everyone's time." She runs a hand through her hair, shaking her head. "I know, I know, you're gonna say I'm not, but I might as well just be honest about it. I guess though... I guess I really should practice more. I never really thought /seriously/ about y'know, what if it happens when I'm in trouble..."
There's a period of silence from Kurt, where he moves to bring his knees up towards his chest and lean over them. The sheets stay where they are, for the most part, but if Sophie has a very keen eye and is /looking/ for that kind of thing, she might notice that he /is/ wearing pants under there. "If there is one thing I have learned, Sophie, it is that there is no point in feeling guilty. It is an emotion that exists only to give us a reason to think we have an excuse not to do what we know we should do, but do not wish to. This is how it works, ja? You think being a mutant is a burden. You do not like that you have this...condition, you might call it, you dislike how they are treated out there in the world, and you do not want to have to deal with it. Who would want it? I do not think anyone chooses to be the target of prejudice. But you look at others, perhaps like myself, and know that you have never known what it is like to have to hide everything about yourself just to go out to the movies, and you feel like maybe you are being the tiniest bit petty. But instead of addressing the thought process or the behavior that is making you feel a little small, you feel guilty instead, and that is its own justification. I'm not a bad person because I feel /very guilty/, ja?" The elf's dark head shakes back and forth, expression still sympathetic. "The only person's time you are really wasting, right now, is your own, and that is yours to waste, liebchen. This guilty feeling...it is not really worth anything. So you dislike being a mutant, but you /are/ one anyway. This is life. The question is, what are you going to do with it? Are you going to sit around and feel sorry for yourself that you have this Gift from God, and then also feel sorry for yourself /because/ you feel sorry for yourself, or are you going to /do/ something with it?"
Sophie offers another sheepish smile, her head still lowered but she does look up, at least, after that explanation. "...Are you sure you aren't a mind-reader, too?" She asks, good-naturedly. With another sigh she leans back in her chair, setting her feet back on the floor and sort of moving her chair idly, back and forth in a little circle while she considers these big thoughts. "Part of it, too, is... it isn't that I don't think it's a /useful/ power but there isn't much I can do with it. Besides like... pranks, or like... sneaking into places I shouldn't be." Biting her lip again, that remark prompts another thought. "Um. Stuff like, what happened this morning... that's not stuff we're /expected/ to have to do eventually, is it? Like, with the Danger Room stuff, it's just... a lot of the other kids get really into training for fighting and I don't really... I don't know what I want to be when I grow up but I don't want to fight people."
"Nein, not a mind-reader, just a man who was once a teenager also, believe it or not, and who did not actually spring out of the womb fully-formed and so comfortable with his unique appearance as he is today." Kurt laughs a little, his tail thumping against the container as it flicks. "There are many uses for your power, I would imagine, but even if you do not think it is 'useful' in any classical sense, it is still yours, as much as your hand or your foot is. I cannot imagine you wanting to cut off your hand or your foot just because you think your toes do not line up most beautifully or whatever it is you people with all of your many tiny digits worry about." Here Kurt flashes a grin, fangs showing briefly. "I think what you wish to do with your life is your own decision, and no one is going to force you to do anything as long as you are here. You should learn to defend yourself, I think, because it is not safe out there for mutants, and you should learn some fine control over your mutation so that you do not have accidents. Anything else...liebchen, the world is wide open and ready for you to conquer it. If you do not wish to fight, don't fight unless you are forced to. I enjoy spars, with foils and rapiers, but real violence...I do not relish harming others, the monstrosity is only fur-deep, I assure you."
Leaning down to pick that bag up once more, Sophie pushes herself to her feet, smoothing her dress down a bit. She gives a little nod, brushes her hair behind her ear, and replies, "I guess it's a little less scary if I think about it as self defense. My old school had classes for that, so... I guess it isn't so weird." Lifting a fist to cover her mouth, she coughs a little, expelling frog from throat. "I think sometimes I think about things too much and get the wrong ideas." The bag is set down on her chair, /oh-so-subtly/, and she folds her hands at her waist. "I didn't mean to talk about so much, I was really just gonna drop that stuff off, but um.. I'll think about what you said. And I'll start practicing more, and... and I'll come talk to you sometime when you're feeling better." She starts to turn to go, but something stops her; turning back, gaze lowered to the floor, that likely all-too-familiar blush returns. "For what it's worth, I don't think you look like a monster."
Kurt smiles again--he does do that a lot--as Sophie stands to go. "There is no such thing as thinking too much, only such a thing as thinking and then not asking the questions that thinking produces. Questions and mistakes are the only way we learn, fraulein, do not be afraid of them. Feel free to come and visit me again, any time, if you should like to talk about such things. I will be interested to know how your powers training progresses." The elf's curiosity, of course, gets the better of him, and his tail untangles itself to slither around to the other side of the bed and retrieve the bag on the chair, although his eyes never leave Sophie. The smile deepens. "Danke schoen, liebchen, it means a lot to me that you would say that."
Sophie smiles with some relief at the gratitude, and nods a few times, a bit over-enthusiastically. "You're welcome. I just-- I didn't want you to think I thought that, after the way I've been acting." The blush deepens a bit, and once she notices that bag being tugged at, she hastens her retreat a bit. "I probably-- have a class to get to, I think, so I'll talk to you later!" She waves, then, and doesn't quite /run/ but does walk briskly before the bag can be investigated. Inside, Kurt will find a yellow coffee mug, wrapped in a dark blue knitted cuff with cables shaped like owls, each with yellow buttons for eyes. And a little note that reads, 'It's supposed to keep your coffee warm. It will shrink in a washing machine, be careful!'
Maybe blessedly, Kurt allows Sophie to retreat before she combusts out of embarrassment. Of course, this means she misses the fond, almost foolish smile that passes over his face when he realizes what's in the bag. "Segnen das Kind." He says to himself, very quietly, as he looks the gift over.